And it’s all over. Alonzo Gee, who was expected to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers before the start of training camp on October 1, has agreed to a multiyear contract with the team according to an NBA source per the Cavs’ Plain Dealer Twitter account and GM Chris Grant. It had been reported earlier in August that Gee had come to terms with a three-year, $9.8 million contract, but those rumors were soon shot down by Grant. However, Grant did assure that the team would land Gee before the start of “Camp Scott.”
It seems that time has finally come after a long summer of waiting. According to ESPN.com the Cavs’ deal with Gee is a three-year, $9.75 million contract the third year being an option. We do know for sure that an unnamed NBA source has confirmed that Gee will be with the Cavaliers before camp begins on October 1 and that he will be in Wine and Gold for the 2012-13 season. Shortly after the season ended the Phoenix Suns showed interest in signing the Cavs’ small forward, but a hot free agent market this offseason made it hard for players like Gee to garner attention. It seemed that Cleveland was the only fit for the former Alabama forward.
Gee started 31 games at small forward for the Cavaliers last season, taking over for the struggling Omri Casspi. Casspi has looked good in his summer training and in the games overseas he participated in for his native country of Israel. The Cavaliers also brought in C.J. Miles as a possible shooting guard/small forward option, so Cleveland already has a battle brewing for starting jobs in the SF/SG departments. Grant has confirmed that the Cavaliers have indeed signed Gee, saying this in a statement:
From the start of free agency we made it clear that re-signing Alonzo was important to us and we’re happy we’ve been able to do that. Alonzo has worked very hard to make the most of the opportunities he has had thus far and it has been great to see his development and growth as a Cavalier. We’re excited he will be part of our team as our young group of players continues to grow together.
Grant is right in saying that Gee has made the most out of his opportunites in Wine and Gold. In his 103 games with Cleveland over the past two seasons, he has started in 60 of those games and has averaged 9.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals. He has shot 42.7 percent from the field and 79.1 percent from the free throw line. Last season he averaged 10.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals, while shooting 41.2 percent and 78.8 percent from the charity stripe.
In my opinion, Gee should be a full-time starter next season. He proved himself last season by working his way up from the bench. I used to be high on him coming off the bench this season because of his electric style of play, but I have since changed my stance on that. He will come into camp the most determined to defend the starting job he had last season. If he shows that he worked on his shooting last season and can be a formidable wing playing-option for Kyrie Irving this season, the sky will be the limit for his development.
With the Gee signing it is very unlikely that the Cavs bring in anyone else, as they already have an 18-man roster going into camp. That means no invites to Kevin Anderson, who worked out with the team last week, and Rafael Hettsheimeir.
Do you think Alonzo Gee will prove himself a starter in Cleveland during October’s training camp?